Trees don’t shed leaves only, and plants aren’t the only thing in the garden that await renewal each year. Any shots here with a blue sky was taken earlier in the week. Today it’s cloudy, with rain, freezing rain, ice pellets and snow forecast for the next three days. Spring delayed, again! Thanks to The Propagator, who gardens where it appears to be much warmer, for this weekly theme!
This past week brought blustery cold winds to the County and all Southern Ontario – lots of downed trees, fallen branches, rain, snow flurries and power outages. We were fortunate to escape wind damage or flooding even with the sump pump out of action for a few hours at the height of Wednesday night’s storm. That said, bulbs continued to push up outside, and seeds started to sprout inside. Here are my Six on Saturday, with a tip of my Tilly to The Propagator for this theme.
The 10 days of Canada Blooms flower and garden show in Toronto ends Sunday – I thought I’d end the week with a few random shots that demonstrate there were, indeed, flowers there!
The theme of Canada Blooms this year is Let’s Go To The Movies. The creators of many of the feature gardens interpreted or used as inspiration a well known movie such as The Jungle Book, Midnight in Paris and even Al Gore’s documentary An Inconvenient Truth (the feature garden is called An Inconvenient Garden – its central courtyard is bare concrete and dead Cedars and dead grasses…).
The most colourful and playful bits of the garden show weren’t feature gardens but the accents, small pieces running down the middle of Floral Alley or put together to demonstrate the theme. Here are a few of my favourites.
These displays running down Floral Alley and the giant red and white popcorn tubs placed here and there helped unify the show and remind people, if they had forgotten, what the theme is:
This manikin couple greets visitors on the red carpet — the dress is a pretty beautiful floral creation!
The wonderful thing about Allan Gardens Conservatory is you can be satisfied and invigorated by visiting for just 15 minutes or by spending as long as 45. Take a quick walk through the entire complex to enjoy the colours, fragrance and humid air, or, leisurely stroll the meandering pathways, examining the large and sometimes tiny specimens, many of them exotics (for Ontario), all of them meticulously cared for. The city horticulturalists pack hundreds of species into the half dozen greenhouses; some seem to have been there forever and some are obviously seasonal. Here are a few of my favourites from the permanent collection and the current Spring Blooms installation.
From the spring show – lots of Muscari, Narcissus, Hyacinth and Tulips, plus the occasional surprise, like Winter Aconite.
Also in bloom is Agapanthus – I’ve heard it being called a weed in more tropical parts of the world but here, not so much! I love the blue flowers. And this variegated Brugmansia is quite spectacular.
Surprising for me was this patch of kale, left to flower – the yellow flowers are really quite beautiful when massed like this – and the lemon tree! I wonder if the staff enjoy G&T’s after closing time…
Seen in the metal roof struts; I wonder what he’s found to chomp on…
While I’ve spent the past six weeks with my head in the snow and my body in front of a cozy fire, other gardeners have been busy planning for the 2018 growing season. Yes, I’ve received and perused a few seed catalogues, with their glowing descriptions and lovely pictures of the wonders that could show up in my garden, but I haven’t ordered anything.
That’s because for me, the growing season starts in earnest with Seedy Saturday – the day when local(ish) seed sellers and gardeners set up tables and displays in a school gym or community hall to sell or, better yet, swap seeds. Some of my favourite annuals, perennials and vegetables have come from a Seedy Saturday table: Echinacea pallida, Silphium perfoliatum, Amethyst Jewel cherry tomato, Alcea rosea…. the list goes on.
For County dwellers, the Picton Seedy Saturday is next Saturday, February 24! Trenton is March 24, Cobourg March 17, Kingston March 10… You can check out Seedy Saturday dates for the whole province (or country) on the Seeds of Diversity website — in fact, check out the whole site. It has a ton of great information about seed saving and starting.
In the Toronto area – the first Seedy Saturday is this Saturday at the Toronto Botanical Gardens.Others, from Scarborough to Etobicoke and points in between, follow throughout February and March.
Often these events are more than just tables of seeds – there are educational displays, talks by professionals and lots of information sharing. It really is the perfect opportunity to get the gardening juices flowing after a long cold winter, to meet and share stories with other enthusiastic gardeners and to discover new plant varieties.
So mark you calendar, I hope to see you there!